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Every year, the world celebrates the “International day for the abolition of slavery” on December 2. The main focus of the day is to eradicate slavery and put an end to all kinds of slavery existing in the present-day world such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, and the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.

According to the facts and figures shared by International Labour Organisation (ILO), 40.3 million people are in modern slavery, including 24.9 million in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriage. It means there are 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1,000 people in the world.

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Out of the 24.9 million people trapped in forced labour, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector such as domestic work, construction or agriculture; 4.8 million persons in forced sexual exploitation, and 4 million persons in forced labour imposed by state authorities. 

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery: Theme

This year’s theme for this international day is – “Ending Slavery’s Legacy of Racism: A Global Imperative for Justice”. The theme reflects the global movement to end injustices whose roots lie in the slave trade. The theme highlights the importance of educating about the history of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery, to bring about an acknowledgment of slavery’s impact on the modern world, and action to address its long-lasting effects. The theme guides the Programme’s development of educational outreach and remembrance to mobilize action against prejudice, racism, and injustice, according to the UN. 

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International Day for the Abolition of Slavery: History

December 2 is celebrated as the international day for the abolition of slavery since 1949, after the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, under resolution 317(IV) of 2 December 1949. 

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